Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Surprisingly, Greg showed up today after having called in sick yesterday. At any rate, I wonder how many calls we will get today considering that half the people in my office are out today...I just wonder how many people in other offices are taking off for the Thanksgiving holiday a day early.

There's something ironic and deliciously satisfying about watching The Biggest Loser , while chowing down on a McDonald's value meal.

As you all know, I consider it my duty to scour the internet everyday for new and interesting content. Here's the news roundup:

From CNN International, a bartender was convicted for serving a clearly intoxicated man tequila shots until he died. Apparently the bartender "tricked" the drinker, by taking water shots as the man took real shots, so the man, thinking he was in a drinking contest continued to down shots. Devious as this might be, it was still the drinker who drank 19, yes 19 shots of tequila in an hour and a half. Now, as a fan of tequila (even though it fucks me up), I can't blame him for partaking of the worm infused concoction. However, knowing that tequila fucks you up, I would never, ever drink 19 shots of the stuff. Granted, I did have six to conclude my 21st birthday celebrations in about a half hour. However, after being floored and yakking the up burger I had for dinner (in front of a girl, no less, a vegetarian), I will never have more than two shots of tequila at a time. And anyone who has ever had tequila knows that it is unwise to take more than 4 shots of the stuff at a time, let alone 19! Ok, anyway...

From Google News, during a live presentation of a speech by VP Dick, a large black "X" graphic repeatedly flashed over the VP's talking head. Officials at CNN had no explanation for the problem, but eventually labeled it an accidental technical error. Rumor has it that some wily CNN technicians were having a little fun with the VP. Efforts to intentionally reproduce the "X" were unsuccessful. Personally I think it's a very clever editorial commenting on Cheney's speech about how it is "dishonorable and subject to condemnation" to claim that Bushie mislead Americans about WMDs. Here's another fun editorial comment done in an extremely backhanded way.

From Bag News Notes, Bushie tries to exit through a locked door after a meeting with President Hu Jintao. I'll let the pics speak for themselves, here's the link You should note that these ran on the front page of the NYT sparking cries of overt partisanship.
From the NYT, energy drinks are taking an increasing share of the market, surpassing sales for regular soda drinks. But that's not the interesting stuff. A standard can of energy drink has three times the caffeine in regular soda. Energy drinks are banned in four countries because of caffeine levels. (Including Red Bull, but I'm sure you already knew that Katie.) Critics warn that the popularity of the energy drinks stems from the physically addicting nature of the drinks. Apparently it takes 100 milligrams a day of caffeine to produce symptoms of dependency and withdrawal. (Dan knows this well.) A 12-oz coffee has 195 milligrams of caffeine, Red Bull has 80mg, and Coke has 34mg. Funny how no one seems to be banning coffee these days even though it has more than twice the caffeine as (arguably) the most potent energy drink. In defense of Red Bull, it does recommend not drinking more than two a day, and you see no such admonition from coffee makers or cola makers. Note, however, that you would have to drink 64 oz of Coke before you even begin to approach the caffeine levels of a cup of joe.

For all you happy-go-lucky liberals, Wreck the Nation, where whoever spends all of the public's money first wins! It looks similar to Monopoly, but you don't want to make or keep money. Monopoly is a vicious game. Long term friendships are strained, people make side deals involving sexual favors, things are thrown. Monopoly is not a good game. Dune, the boardgame, is worse. Take all the antagonism that goes along with Monopoly, add side deals that are not only allowed, but encouraged, tip the scales in favor of some of the "pieces" you pick and the need to have a basic understanding of the esoteric storyline in Dune, and you have Dune, the boardgame. I love it. But maybe that's because I've read Dune many many times... and the five sequels... and the six prequels ... and listened to the audio books... and partaken of the spice melange ... and worshipped Shai-Hulud ...and changed the spice waters... holy fuck, I am Mahdi, the savior, Paul Muad'Dib Atreides...

On a different note, lego shaped hard drives because who doesn't love legos. Though we don't have good legos anymore, I think that it is damn near impossible to buy just plain legos without getting some stupid, not able to think for yourself set (including Harry Potter, Star Wars, Dora). Now, I admit that when I was a kid, a had a pirate ship set, a british navy, set and a fortress set, but I also had innumberable amounts of plain old legos to build whatever my little heart desired. Also Lincoln Logs, and Tinker Toys. There was nothing like building a suspension bridge out of Tinker Toys for my electric train to cross over and smash into a structure of Lincoln Logs. So yeah, building materials without sets, I support that. Upon further research, it is possible to buy a tub of standard pieces, however, the marketing has definitely trended towards sets and cross marketing.

It's just a great day for news. Here's your continued round-up.
It's not just the Texans! In an earlier post, I reported that a town named Clark, Texas had recently allowed its name to be changed to DISH, as in DISH Network. I may have possibly berated the poor townspeople for allowing themselves to be bought out by corporate America, and I may have possibly made some disparaging comments about Texans. Well, it turns out that it's not just the Texans. It's also the Idahoians (?!). A little town in Idaho, went from Santa, to the town of The townspeople sold out for cash to replace aging waste and sanitation systems. A good cause I suppose, but but now, instead of being Santians (a ridiculous sounding name any way) they are now secretsanta.comians. Congrats.
Politics. Our dear president may have actually called for the destruction of Al-Jazeera, that pesky news agency that just won't get in line with the spin. Rumor has it that there is a classified transcript from when Bushie met Britain's Blair earlier this year. During that meeting, Bush allegedly expressed a desire to bomb Al-Jazeera and Blair talked him out of it. Talked him out of bombing a journalist enterprise in a country that we are not at war with. Does this sound slightly fascist to anyone else? But wait, there's more. Blair has now informed the UK press that anyone that releases the classified document will face arrest and prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. Sounds like the rumor might be true doesn't it? And as AMERICAblog points out, one of the UK press should just email the damn thing across the big drink because we (thankfully) don't have an Official Secrets Act (yet).

More Politics
A couple of weeks ago there was a big brouhaha over whether the US Military (USM) had used chemical weapons during the assault on Falluja, injuring civilians and rebel (Yes, rebel. I refuse to use the euphemism, "insurgents" or "insurgency." "Insurgent" refers to one who is rising in revolt against an established authority, especially a government. "Rebel" one who refuses allegiance to and opposes by force a ruling authority. )forces alike. The weapon in question is called white phosphorus and is banned under Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (Unlike 80 other countries the United States is not a signatory of Protocol III), and some claim that it should be banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention because of its toxic nature.
First the USM denied using the weapon during the assault on Falluja, then it said that it had used it as a smoke screening type of device, then they said that had used it as an incendiary device against combatants (rebels). The USM always contended that white phosphorus was not a chemical weapon. However, as per , The Independent a declassified Department of Defense report states that "Iraqi forces loyal to President Saddam may have possibly used white phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. The WP chemical was delivered by artillery rounds and helicopter gunships." So, basically, it's a chemical weapon when President Saddam used it, but when we use it, it's a conventional weapon....right.

Only two hours and 55 minutes until I'm free for four days! On tap for the Thanksgiving Break is dinner with both sides of the family, relaxing, drinking of copious amounts of hard cider, the city museum, ice skating and eating, eating, eating. Adventures will be taking a sabbatical for the entirety of those four days, but please check back on Monday.

So I was reading a run-of-the-mill article on CNN about how astronauts to Mars are going to have to grow much of their own food right there on board. I'm thinking, ok, cool. Segue to the idea that you have to keep waste and weight down. Ok, cool. And then you hit this sentence "Some studies are looking into the use of fish -- specifically tilapia -- as a way to recycle shower water, toilet waste and the water clothes are washed in. Tilapia eat human waste and are safe for human consumption afterward." AHHHHHH!!! And then, ok, cool. Though, I understand that the fishy would eat the human waste from the toilet, but how does shower water, and washing clothes water fit in?

One hour and 56 minutes. The office has gone almost completely silent except for the occasional phone ringing. People still call and want things by Monday, don't they realize that a) it can't be done, and b) they shouldn't have waited until the last minute to do this? And I suppose that all of my corporate world buddies had the day off today or were too busy to talk, because I did not exchange a single email today.

Scratch that. Kristen just emailed me something that looks like it could be interesting, but my computer won't open it. She's like a big tease.


Anonymous Roko said...

Are you aware of the O RLY? owl? I should hope so. If you are, (and since you are a Dune fan,) this should amuse you

4:42 PM  

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